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Old 13-02-2018, 12:56   #1
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Moorings charter: Nassau to Exumas

Hello all, I'm contemplating a 1 week bareboat charter from Moorings, specifically the 433 (Leopard 43PC powercat). I have a number of questions:

1) Thinking of March to May timeframe, is there any specific time that would be best weather wise?

2) Assuming I want to make it as far as Staniel Cay and back, is 7 days enough? Is 5 days enough?

3) My marine charts show approx 75 nm between Nassau and Staniel Cay, so one thought was to motor down on day 1 and slowly cruise back. Is this a good strategy?

4) I own a 26' sail boat, cruising on Lake Ontario, but have never handled a 40' cat, and never cruised in the caribbean. Is there any reason for outsized concern?
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Old 13-02-2018, 16:38   #2
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Re: Moorings charter: Nassau to Exumas

Im a Moorings PowerCat owner. No worries with your plan on any front. Weather should be good, although May better than March. 75 Miles is easy. And that Boat is very easy to operate and maneuver. Youll love it.
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Old 14-02-2018, 09:55   #3
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Re: Moorings charter: Nassau to Exumas

Thanks David, that's great to hear. A couple of follow up questions if you don't mind:

1) One of the reasons for choosing the powercat is that it seems like there is great 360 visibility for docking on the flybridge. Would you agree?

2) Is it fair to say that nav charts are pretty accurate for this route? Particularly with only a 3' draft? Any challenging spots?

3) Are there plenty of docking choices along the way that can accommodate a cat? My preference will be to dock each night rather than anchoring.

4) Do you experience any windage issues with the PC? I have read that strong winds can come in without warning and these boats are pretty tall.

Thanks!
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Old 14-02-2018, 10:21   #4
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Re: Moorings charter: Nassau to Exumas

I can't answer the powercat questions but both April and May are unlikely to have wind problems.

Your draft will make this easy. If you want to go into tricky places that no one goes get a set of the Explorer chart books but otherwise the chartplotter plus Active Captain on an Ipad will be enough.

Best marinas in your stretch would be Highborne, Compass Cay and Staniel Cay. Each nice with something special to offer. They don't have a lot of cat slips so call ahead. But also think about picking up moorings at Leverick Wells and Cambridge Cay. Easier, prettier and less expensive than docking. And finally, anchoring in the Bahamas if very easy. Sand bottoms and little tide. If you are nervous, check the weather reports for a night where the wind is not expected to change direction (or increase) overnight.

Five days will seem very rushed. Remember, you effectively lose the first and last day of a charter. If possible, go for 9 days and downshift.
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Old 14-02-2018, 12:24   #5
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Re: Moorings charter: Nassau to Exumas

Thanks again. 7 days is pretty much the max we can all get together for. I don't suppose Moorings offers a repositioning / one-way type rental do they?

What do you mean by losing the first and last day - is it a requirement to be in Nassau port those days, or just a really good idea?
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Old 14-02-2018, 12:31   #6
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Re: Moorings charter: Nassau to Exumas

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What do you mean by losing the first and last day - is it a requirement to be in Nassau port those days, or just a really good idea?
The boat will be in Nassau. You will arrive, fill out paper work, go over the boat, load your stuff, provision. Your first day is lost. The last day to cruise back into Nassau, tie-up, unload, there will be a 'check-out' process.

I doubt you'll head out the first day. I doubt you'll roll in a 8 pm on the last day.
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Old 14-02-2018, 12:58   #7
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Re: Moorings charter: Nassau to Exumas

Agreed on the first night, I wasn't necessarily planning on staying the last night on the boat in Nassau but its probably better to plan for it and leave a little slack.

Nassau->Staniel->Compass->Warderick Wells->Highborne seems like a decent 5 night itinerary leaving 2 slack nights (one of which might be a final night in Nassau, and one might be around Shroud/Norman Cay? or an extra day anywhere)
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Old 22-03-2018, 06:48   #8
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Re: Moorings charter: Nassau to Exumas

One day at Warderick Wells is not enough time! Give yourself two days here, even if it means skipping Compass Cay. Warderick Wells is the gem of the Exumas, and you will not regret giving it two days. Normans and Shroud are also fun to explore in the dinghy. Hopefully you will have a good RIB with 10hp or better outboard.
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Old 22-03-2018, 09:10   #9
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Re: Moorings charter: Nassau to Exumas

Thanks for the info, I will certainly take that into consideration.

How has the exumas weather been this March? I was planning for next April but Im so sick of winter already I might prefer to book next March instead!

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Old 22-03-2018, 09:11   #10
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Re: Moorings charter: Nassau to Exumas

Cold fronts are still a feature this time of year, and this has been an unusually bad year. As David Hughes said, May is better than March. By May they are unlikely. And unless you enjoy hard core sailing rather than leisure cruising, you really would prefer to avoid them. I know I do!

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Old 23-03-2018, 06:57   #11
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Re: Moorings charter: Nassau to Exumas

Weather in the Exumas this time of year is generally milder (in terms of temperature and winds) than it is in the Abacos. In both places you are likely to get a front per week or so that passes through, often times lasting a couple of days (or more) with winds at 20-25+ from NW clocking to E.
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Old 13-04-2018, 10:25   #12
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Re: Moorings charter: Nassau to Exumas

I'm contemplating making my way right from Nassau to Warderwick Wells Cay in one shot. I don't think we want to break up the passage by staying in Highborne.

My chartplotter is telling me this is about 60NM and could be done pretty easily in the powercat in 4-5 hours. Does this seem wrong or a bad idea?
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Old 20-04-2018, 08:35   #13
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Re: Moorings charter: Nassau to Exumas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobbob911 View Post
I'm contemplating making my way right from Nassau to Warderwick Wells Cay in one shot. I don't think we want to break up the passage by staying in Highborne.

My chartplotter is telling me this is about 60NM and could be done pretty easily in the powercat in 4-5 hours. Does this seem wrong or a bad idea?
It will depend largely on your weather. If you get winds SSE at 20kts, it's going to be a rough ride. Those seas on the banks there will pick up to 3'-5' and be on a 5-second or less interval.
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Old 18-06-2018, 13:37   #14
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Re: Moorings charter: Nassau to Exumas

I'm looking to book the last week in April, weather does what it's going to do but at least I think I'm maximizing my chances.

Looks like I'll be booking a 6 night charter with a tentative schedule:

Night 1: Nassau
Night 2: Warderick (60 nm)
Night 3: Staniel (20 nm)
Night 4: Compass (10 nm)
Night 5: Shroud (25 nm)
Night 6: Nassau (45 nm)

And adjust on the fly. It's possible we'll only make it to Highborne for Night 1 and then the whole plan gets shifted around. We're still on a boat in the Bahamas

Cheers
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Old 18-06-2018, 14:25   #15
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Re: Moorings charter: Nassau to Exumas

We spent March in the Exumas this year. It was nice and I wouldn't wait much longer to get out of the winter weather.

IMO, your kind of over thinking it a little due to having a power cat. I don't know how fast they go but would imagine at least 15 knots. Take both of the "Nassau" places off your schedule because you can leave on day one and be somewhere and then be somewhere and get back to Nassau easily. IMO, the only real considerations you need to pay attention to is slack tide and water depth. In the 8 years I've had Palarran these two factors were never really important until we arrived in the Turks.
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